Former Dublin footballer Mossy Quinn and former Meath captain Anthony Moyles were on Tuesday’s OTB AM and spoke about what Diarmuid Connolly brings to the Dublin panel.
Connolly impressed during Dublin’s six-point win over Tyrone on Sunday, mostly spending his time as a playmaker, sitting back and dropping balls in rather than going forward and scoring himself.
Both Quinn and Moyles agreed that this aspect of his game will help his cause to make the Dublin matchday squad as he brings something different to the table.
“Jack [McCaffery], his strength is carrying the ball. He’s a good kick passer but he’s a brilliant ball carrier.
“Whereas with Diarmuid, if he has the ball in his hands you can make any run. Generally, he looks for the most dangerous one,” Quinn explained.
Speaking from his own experience playing with Connolly at St. Vincent's, Quinn is well aware of the talent that the 5-time All-Ireland winner can bring to the Dubs.
While forwards usually have to really consider which runs they could make that could realistically result in an accurate pass, it's not something players would usually have to think about with Connolly.
“Instead of having to show to the stand side so it can be popped in front, you know, 'Well I can go a yard here then cut back because he’s going to look for that.’
“Then there’s a goal chance on. I think he brings that element to the game,” Quinn explained.
How can Mayo deal with Connolly?
Moyles looked ahead to Saturday’s semi-final clash and pondered how Mayo would look to deal with Connolly if Jim Gavin was to spring him off the bench.
“Diarmuid Connolly is essentially a new player for Dublin. Horan will be scratching his head this week, ‘when he comes in, how do I reshape things?’
“Because he gives something completely different to Kilkenny, to Howard, to Scully. Completely different. Even to Con O’Callaghan. O’Callaghan is a very direct type of player.
“Connolly is just this guy that can do different things. I think he’s up the pecking order,” Moyles commented.
Dublin take on Mayo on the 10th of August at 5pm in what is arguably the most highly anticipated game of football since the sides last met in the 2017 All-Ireland final.
While there is still the prospect of facing either Kerry or Tyrone in the final a few weeks later, neither side will be looking past the other.